GLAAD announced that it will honor multi-platinum, Grammy Award–winning pop icon Britney Spears at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at Beverly Hilton on Thursday, April 12, 2018.
The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD’s work to accelerate acceptance of the LGBTQ community. The 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Ketel One Vodka, and Wells Fargo.
Spears will receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award, which is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, Demi Lovato, Eric McCormack, Josh Hutcherson, and Patricia Arquette.
Spears is a longtime ally and supporter of the LGBTQ community. She has consistently stood up for LGBTQ youth on GLAAD’s Spirit Day by going purple on social media to speak out against bullying. In 2015, she released a Spirit Day video and promoted participation in the anti-bullying campaign by organizing a meet-and-greet for LGBTQ fans, washing her stage at Planet Hollywood purple, and providing anti-bullying materials to concertgoers. In 2016, she was among over 20 music artists to appear on GLAAD’s song “Hands,” released with Interscope Records to remember the 49 lives taken in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. The musical tribute to the victims of Orlando, written by Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels and Blood Pop, benefited Equality Florida, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and GLAAD. In 2017, Spears was among 140 leading entertainers including Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Laverne Cox, and Whoopi Goldberg to speak out in an open letter against two anti-LGBTQ bills, which targeted transgender youth in Texas and were later defeated. Most recently, Spears sparked global attention when she wore a t-shirt stating ‘We Are All Dreamers’ and called on Congress to pass the Dream Act via Instagram.
Spears also has a legacy of deeply embracing her LGBTQ fans. She wrote a highly publicized letter to a young gay man who considered suicide, but credited her music and lyrics with giving him the courage to come out and be true to himself. She wrote to him: “I was very happy to hear how courageous you’ve been about being openly gay. I’ve always been told as long as you know in your heart that’s what matters most.” After a gay couple who met at the opening of “Britney: Piece of Me” married, she surprised them with a touching video to send congratulations and show her support for marriage equality. Most recently, for LGBTQ Pride Month in 2017, Spears penned a heartwarming love letter to the LGBTQ community on Billboard Pride in which she shared that the community’s unwavering loyalty and acceptance uplift and inspire her. “I have a secret to share with you. You see it’s actually you that lifts me up. The unwavering loyalty. The lack of judgment. The unapologetic truth. Acceptance! Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy, and make me and my sons strive to be better people.”